Economics – discussion responses | Applied Sciences homework help

In responding to your classmates, compare and contrast their memo with your own. What additional questions or issues would you include that they did not? Based on the analysis in their memo, would you recommend initiating an intervention regarding childhood immunizations?

Post # 1

Donna Coleman 

Memo: Regarding Childhood Immunizations

Childhood immunizations are a popular public health topic in society as it relates to disease prevention and health promotion. Promoting childhood vaccinations could increase the vaccination rates among children and prevent disease outbreaks (Riddell, 2012). Data shows that vaccination rates among children in the United States are adequate with over 90% of kindergarten students vaccinated with the recommended vaccines. While this looks promising, some children are not vaccinated due to religious reasons and other parental preferences (Riddell, 2012). With this information, healthcare providers and organizations can help to improve vaccination rates by making childhood immunizations available and affordable to families.

To promote health and reduce healthcare costs the organization could develop ways to ensure that the target population receives the recommended immunizations. Most childhood vaccines are recommended to prevent and control diseases. Some childhood diseases like pertussis and measles require preventative vaccines because there are no other alternate recommendations for prevention from these diseases (Riddell, 2012).

To effectively promote childhood immunizations under the health effectiveness analysis program (HEAP), my organization would make an economic evaluation using the cost-benefit analysis. This analysis allows the organization to compare costs and benefits to make decisions about projects, public goods, and services. In other words, the organization will use the cost-benefit analysis to determine if the benefits from childhood immunizations are worth the costs (Henderson, 2018). In this case, there are little or no alternatives to childhood immunizations as a preventive measure. Therefore, a non-profit organization could perform this analysis to benefit public health instead of making a profit. Discounts or free vaccines could be provided to those in need. Some concerns and questions that might arise in the cost-benefit analysis, such as the availability of staff to accommodate immunization distribution schedules; will the organization provide the quantity to cover the servicing areas? will all children have a fair opportunity to access the immunizations? how would the organization apply discounts and who would subsidize the funds to cover the loss? These are valid concerns that could arise during the economic evaluation before a decision can be made about the approach with this intervention.

The impact that this intervention could have on consumer behavior and demand is more children would get vaccinated due to the affordability and availability of this valuable product. Consumers will utilize the services consistently because of accessibility. They are more likely to choose the organization that has the product available at a price that they can afford or at no cost.  The organization would ensure that they have enough vaccines to serve all communities and that they negotiate with insurance carriers to provide coverage for the vaccines. According to Riddell (2012), consumers are more likely to choose between obtaining the goods and services to improve their quality of health especially when there are no alternatives, and the costs are minimal. This health intervention could improve health outcomes and benefit the organization. For-profit organizations can apply other analysis methods to determine how they could make a profit as well as meet the needs of the consumer, and nonprofit organizations could use the cost-benefit analysis to promote public health and remain competitive. 

References

Henderson, J. (2018). Health Economics and Policy (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/

Riddell, M. R. (2012,). Wayback Machine. Web.archive.org. https://web.archive.org/web/20160429040952/http://www.marrellgroup.com/TMG%20Commentary.The%20Latest%20on%20Consumer%20Behavior%20and%20Public%20Reporting.032012.pd

Post # 2

Re: Health Effectiveness Analysis Program (HEAP) – Childhood Immunizations

To Whom it May Concern:

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) requires that health benefits and costs are measured in monetary terms. A CBA is comprehensive and measuring benefits can be complex. CBA benefits can be measured in physical and cognitive health, productivity, treatment costs and life. However, there are some questions that arise when making economic evaluations on childhood immunizations.

1. How does this benefit children in the present and future?

According to Bärnighausen et al., (2011) vaccines protect children’s health and allows them to achieve full cognitive potential. Children that are physically and cognitively healthy can attend school, miss school less due to illness and finish college. There is an outcome related productivity gain because vaccinated children can grow up to be physically healthy and well-educated that permits to work and be productive members of society. For instance, Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine protects against a bacterial form of meningitis that can cause blindness, mental retardation, epilepsy, paralysis and deafness. There is a relation between cognitive ability and educational achievements linked to labor productivity and income. Recent studies show that 15 to 35% of Hib meningitis survivors have a permanent disability that can reduce cognition (Bärnighausen et al., 2011).

2. How does this affect the community?

Each state has its own vaccine requirements to enroll children in school. However, there are vaccine exemptions that allow children to enroll in school without meeting the mandatory vaccine requirements. The vaccine exemptions are medical, philosophical or religious beliefs (NVIC, n.d.). Parents with immunosuppressed children may be advised by the pediatrician to opt out of vaccinations if the risks outweigh the benefits. Therefore, there are children attending school without being protected from certain diseases. However, children that are vaccinated can protect other unvaccinated children through herd effects. Vaccinated children cannot contract the disease and transmit it to other children that are not vaccinated. The herd effect can help reduce the transmission of disease in the community (Bärnighausen et al., 2011).

3. What are the costs associated with disease?

Cost associated with the disease can be direct or indirect. Direct costs include outbreak control, outpatient and inpatient visits for treatment of disease. Indirect costs include productivity losses from premature mortality (CDC, 2014) According to the CDC (2015) before the introduction of the Hib vaccine about 20,000 children under the age of 5 contracted the Hib disease yearly and about 3% – 6% children died. After the introduction of the Hib vaccine, Hib disease dropped by 99%. The costs associated with disease can have a financial burden on society. In 2013, the cost per hospitalization from Sequelae among meningitis cases was $4, 111 for 2 days and 38,270 for 7 days that could have been prevented with the Hib vaccine (CDC, 2014).

Cost-benefit analysis can assist in measuring benefits in monetary terms and identify ways to distribute resources to maximize profit. This intervention can impact demand and consumer behavior. Parents that want to protect their children from Hib will vaccinate their children causing a higher demand for vaccines and medical personnel to administer them. The demand for vaccines can result in competition in the market. Health care providers can choose to purchase from private or public sector. However, the ultimately decision is determined by the patient’s insurance and what brand of vaccine it covers.

Please let me know your thoughts on this proposal.

Best Regards,

Trina Cox

References

Bärnighausen, T., Bloom, D., Canning, D., Friedman, A., Levine, O. S., O’Brien, J. Privor-Dumm, L. (2011). Rethinking the Benefits and Costs of Childhood Vaccination: The Example of the Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Vaccine. Vaccine29, 2731-2380. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/hib/Macroeconomic_evaluation_Hib_vaccines.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014). Decision Analysis Model. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/pubs/methods/index.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015). VFC Publications: Supplement. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/pubs/methods/index.html

National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). (n.d.). State Law & Vaccine Requirements. Retrieved from https://www.nvic.org/vaccine-laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspx

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